Tuesday, June 14, 2011 by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

One Million Families At Risk

New York laws protecting one million tenant households from eviction and arbitrary rent hikes expire tomorrow, threatening a new wave of homelessness. Now is the time to urge Governor Cuomo and State Legislators to renew -- and strengthen -- the rent laws.

As we've written here and in our Safety Net newsletter:

Simply put, the rent laws are essential to maintaining New York City's stock of affordable rental housing. And they are essential to stemming even further increases in homelessness. That is why Coalition for the Homeless is working alongside tenant organizations, organized labor, housing advocates, and others on a campaign not only to renew the rent laws but to strengthen them.....

Weaker rent laws are one of the major factors behind the steady loss of affordable rental housing in New York City. And the shrinking affordable housing stock is the primary cause of record homelessness in New York. Further weakening of the laws -- including a renewal of the current laws in their weakened state -- will only lead to more homelessness. And the outright elimination of the rent laws would lead to a wave of evictions and homelessness unseen in New York since the Great Depression.

Yesterday, the Coalition's executive director, Mary Brosnahan, wrote to Coalition supporters about this urgent issue. We're asking New Yorkers to contact Governor Cuomo and urge him to fight not only for renewal of the rent laws, but for stronger rent laws -- including the elimination of the "vacancy decontrol" provision that's led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of rent-regulated apartments.

You can contact the Governor here; you can learn more about the Real Rent Reform campaign, which is leading the fight, here; and here's Mary's message:

Dear Coalition for the Homeless Supporter,

The key to fighting - and preventing - homelessness is permanent, affordable housing.

But this week, our biggest resource of affordable homes - rent-stabilized apartments - is in serious jeopardy. Unless Albany acts, the rent laws that protect more than one million families are set to expire in just a few days.

Coalition for the Homeless has joined a growing campaign of tenants groups, labor unions, and policy makers fighting to extend - and strengthen - the rent laws that protect nearly 2.5 million New Yorkers from eviction and arbitrary rent hikes.

Our campaign has momentum, but we don't have much time. Can you take a moment to email Governor Cuomo?

Go to: http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/rent-laws

With homelessness in New York City already near record levels, letting the rent laws expire would be disastrous.

But Albany must do more than extend the current laws. Loopholes in the rent laws have allowed hundreds of thousands of apartments to leave the rent stabilization system, costing New York City the affordable homes that are our best weapon for preventing families from becoming homeless.

We've seen the effect of these loopholes in the ever-rising numbers of families seeking help in our office. And the loss of affordable homes makes it that much harder to find housing for families struggling to get out of costly shelters.

Please take a moment to contact Governor Cuomo and send a strong message: Renew and strengthen the rent laws now!

Go to: http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/rent-laws

Then, please forward this email to five New Yorkers you know, and ask them to send a message to Albany, too.


Mary Brosnahan
Executive Director



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